Home > Uncategorized > Oh My! Who Knew That New Bern Had So Many Kit Homes!

Oh My! Who Knew That New Bern Had So Many Kit Homes!

Fun times in New Bern!

Mr. Hubby and I just returned from a visit to New Bern, NC where we stayed at the Aerie Bed and Breakfast and spent the days seeing the sights (and looking for kit homes).

Within New Bern’s Ghent neighborhood, we found an abundance of kit homes, and (a nice bonus) one turquoise Lustron, (all-steel homes from the late 1940s).

My favorite two finds within Ghent were the Sears Milton, and - just across the street - a Sears Modern Home #178  facing the Sears Milton. And here’s what’s even more fun: In the 1914 Sears Modern Homes catalog, Modern Home #178 was featured on the same page as the Milton.

And I was surprised to find that these two radically different houses - The Milton and Modern Home #178 - share an identical floor plan! I’ve been playing around with Sears Homes for 15+ years and never noticed that before.

The next blog will showcase a few of the two dozen kit homes I found in New Bern, but today, it’s all about the Milton and it’s fraternal twin, Modern Home #178.

To read more about the Milton, click here.

Updated: Will I ever be able to return to New Bern? I doubt it. New Bern is the place where my husband and I celebrated our honeymoon, and also a second honeymoon in January 2016. And in January 2016, while I sat reading in another room of our suite, he made some phone calls in preparation of his upcoming suicide in April. Just seeing these pictures causes me so much strife. His suicide ruined every single thing.

*

The Milton and Modern Home

The Sears Milton and Modern Home #178: Two different models, one floor plan. Sears Homes were given names in 1918. Modern Home #264P210 survived long enough in the catalog to merit a name: The Milton. Modern Home #178's last year was 1914.

*

Both

Two houses - one floorplan. The Sears Milton in New Bern (across the street from #178) was customized when built, and does not have the traditional two-story bay window.

*

Two houses - one floorplan.

Both first and second floors are identical in the Milton and Modern Home #178.

*

The Milton was one of Sears finest homes.

The Milton was one of Sears finest homes.

*

Notice

Notice the massive eaves, and cornice returns on this grand house. It's a very distinctive house (thus making it easier to spot). In the Miltons that I've seen, those pergolas have been converted into a roof, covering the expansive front porch. Notice also the dramatic bracketing on the eaves. Dentil molding is found at the top of the columns and around the eaves.

*

The

Absent that two-story bay window, every other detail on this Milton is spot-on.

*

house

Here's a close-up of those distinctive cornice returns.

*

Another view of this

Another view of this grand old kit home in New Bern, NC.

*

Between landscaping obstacles

A surfeit of landscaping obstacles made photographing this old house a challenge. Note the tapered board on the underside of the first-floor porch roof, with a small block at its center. This is also a perfect match to the old catalog image.

*

And just across the street is the Sears Modern Home #178.

And just across the street is the Sears Modern Home #178. Beautiful! There must be s a story here, as to how these two spacious (and fancy) Sears Homes were built just across the street from one another!

*

A view of the Milton, as seen from the front yard of #178.

A view of the Milton, as seen from the front yard of #178.

*

One of these Miltons is not like the other!

"One of these Miltons is not like the other!" On the far left (in blue shirt) is my BFF, Milton Crum, with Jim Silverstorf (holding an antenna tuner). When I first told Milton (blue shirt) about the Sears Milton (white clapboards), Milton said, "Now that's a darn fine name for a house!"

*

My next blog - the OTHER 22 kit homes I found within New Bern, including this little cutie in the 600-block of Broad Street!

My next blog - the OTHER 22 kit homes I found within New Bern, including this little cutie in the 600-block of Broad Street!

*

Isnt it a darling little house?

Isn't it a darling little house?

*

To read more about the Sears Milton, click here.

*

  1. January 19th, 2016 at 23:27 | #1

    How fun is that? All they need to complete the “trio” is a Sears #124! The Sears #124 is almost identical to the floorplan of the number 178.

    I can’t wait to see more!

  2. Tricia Beaver
    March 23rd, 2016 at 17:03 | #2

    New Bern’s Historic Homes Tour on April 8-9, 2016 features two Sears houses in the Ghent neighborhood, 1402 and 1410 Spencer Ave. Info on the tour can be found at http://www.newbernhistorical.org.

    We can’t wait to see them! Thanks for all of your work in NC.

  3. Judith Murray
    August 30th, 2016 at 07:23 | #3

    Have enjoyed the comments and facts about the sears homes have been interested in them for some time. Found this site by reading Billl Hands article in the New Bern Sun Journal on August 28 2016.

  4. August 30th, 2016 at 09:21 | #4

    Would you be interested in speaking at the New Bern Historical Society Lunch & Learn in March 2017? We’d love to hear more of your take on our Sears homes.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Additional comments powered by BackType